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Published: October 9th 2019
Day 14 Flagstaff/Winona to Cameron
Out of Flagstaff we rode Route 66 to Winona the start of today's route. Joining the route on a single track through scrub we encountered the lone KTM rider at his campsite on the side of the track. His "lost" companion had decided to bail on yesterday's section & head, by seal for the comfort of a motel. "Not impressed" was the feeling we got!
Continuing on gravel for some time before the surface changed to loose dark grey cinder approaching Sunset Cone, a dormant volcano. This surface was a little like soft sand to ride through & continued for around 15kms. Then, more gravel including a very steep rocky downhill which we had just got over, to encounter a steep gnarly uphill! From then on we were bouncing off large boulders which was very testing. However, superb scenery dominated in the distance by Arizona's highest peak Humphreys Mt at 3800m. We diverted for probably 40kms to view the Grand Canyon from the South West Rim Grand View Viewing site & one other further up the road. Words are difficult to describe this vista - see the photos. Back out of here
for 20kms or so on seal via some 800 year old ruins from a group of people who they know little about called Tusayan. Stone buildings in ruins & apparently they were only here for a matter of a few decades & no one knows where they came from or where they went...mmmmm? Then on to Old Route 64 which has now degenerated to just a gnarly rocky track which led us to rejoin our original route.
Continuing across the range we saw a few longhorn cattle & near a stockyard I saw a Coyote sprint away when he saw or heard me coming. The stock/area ratio in this region must be measured by hundreds of acres per beast rather than hundreds of head per acre. Later towards the end of the section we encountered a down hill rocky (large rocks) section which should probably have rated as expert. We managed to survive.
We arrived at Cameron to a time change as the Navajo Nation have daylight saving while the rest of Arizona doesn't. The Cameron trading post must be in the Guiness book of records as the world's largest gift shop & restaurant. Owned & run by
the Navajo Nation it was a huge resort & very comfortable. Being on an Indian Reservation it was dry & we had an enforced alcohol free night. Around 300kms today. Day 15 Cameron to Page
Leaving Cameron we firstly went to the Navajo Nation office – very friendly & a local Navajo gave us a heads up on the animals we may see. Heading North out of town it was noticeably quite cool now we are further North. On seal we turned onto the route after 25kms. A nice wide gravel road led us west for a while before turning North again. This was enjoyable riding with no technical sections except we had to stay alert as every now & then there was a dry wash which had created some decent sand or rock whoopdees when water had flowed through them. Hit these too fast & probably flying Ws would ensue. For those uninitiated this is where you take a jump too fast, hit a mound & the bike ceases forward motion, but you don’t. You are propelled over the handlebars at high speed. Fortunately nothing like this eventuated, although we were a bit concerned for lone KTM
man who seemed to think he was in the Dakar Rally as he nearly cleaned up Bryan doing a U turn at, by his own admission, doing around 80mph – on a gravel road?? His riding companion had obviously done a complete bunk or was with him but in full camouflage gear.
Continuing on these series of gravel roads, the road surface remained the same however the scenery was magnificent- huge out crops of bare rock as per the photos. We encountered Lone KTM man again stopped talking to a local Navajo who had just shot a dog that had been killing his sheep. He gave us a heads up on our route as well as bemoaning the fact that his people see none of the $ collected for the permits. Sound familiar? After around 150kms of this enjoyable riding we were on seal & into Page to Page Honda around 12.30. We left our bikes there for fresh tyres & oil & taxied to our accommodation – Travelodge Page. Around 210kms today. Quite short but very enjoyable adventure riding enhanced by the scenery.
Tot: 1.912s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 13; qc: 75; dbt: 0.0389s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.5mb